A Sign in the Sky

Last Friday night Brendan and I were driving to a friend’s house outside the city. Up ahead of us in the sky we saw the full moon silhouetted between two blocks of flats. It hung in the sky larger than normal. We drove on outside the city. The moon was high in the sky but not looking so big. Did we see an optical illusion? The moon can be seen all over the world when it is night The reason the moon looks bigger is because at this time of the year the moon is closest to the earth on its path around the earth. It is a sign that the season has changed. We have moved from winter to spring.

I enquired from my friend if she saw the moon.  Yes, she said.  It is called the Worm Moon because the worms begin to move through the soil as the land gets warmer.  I enquired more about the Worm Moon.  A farmer friend told me the worm is a farmer’s best friend.  The quantity of soil each worm moves is fantastic, maintaining the health of the soil.  It causes the nutrients on the surface of the soil from dead leaves, animal waste and other debris to be passed down into the lower layers of soil. The movement of worms in the top layers aerates the soil.  The seeds the farmer has planted absorb the nutrients and oxygen the worms have pulled down from the surface.  

As I looked up at the moon that evening, I took my eyes off my immediate difficulties. I am amazed how everything is in order in nature. I agree with the scripture from Psalm 65,

Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders.  

From where the sun rises to where it sets you inspire shouts of joy. 

I am happy for the change of season. These last weeks have been cold, wet and windy. I am enjoying the sunshine. The daffodils lift their heads and the tulip buds open up in full colour. The birds begin to pair up again to build their nests to rear their young. By the time the nest is built and the young have hatched there will be plenty of worms available under dead leaves or in the vegetable patch to fetch for the hungry mouths.

Subdue The Land

Adam and Eve lived in a garden.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”  Genesis 1

When God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt he wanted them to go into the Promised Land.  He told them to subdue it.

He said to them, “If the Gadites and Reubenites, every man armed for battle, cross over the Jordan with you before the Lord, then when the land is subdued before you, you must give them the land of Gilead as their possession.  Numbers 32 v 29

One of the meanings of “subdue” is “bring under control.”
God intends that we subdue that for which we have responsibility, whether it be work, family, property or land.  We will have the strength to do it.  God is pleased when we obey him.

I decided today I would subdue my garden after reading this scripture.

Despite our recent cold spell, when we had snow and wind, seed time is here.  I had been reluctant to work in the garden due to the bad weather.

Genesis 8 v 22. “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

The days have more light and the earth is warming up.  Plants, whose leaves died back over the winter are putting forth shoots.  Leaves are breaking out of their wrappings on the branches.  The cycle of nature takes its course despite the windy cold blasts that would make one stay inside warm.  The daffodils broke forth a month ago giving us beauty.  Their yellow trumpets swayed in the winds and remained till their time of glory passed.

I saw some tomato plants for sale at a bargain price in a local shop.  The garden centres would charge much more.  They tempted me to start some gardening even though it felt too chilly to do any outdoor work.  I planted them out in the safety of the greenhouse.  Last years tomato plants didn’t need much attention and produced fruit well into autumn.  Just plant them and wait for the harvest.  That doesn’t seem like hard work.

There is a plot of land beside my house.  In former years the land would have been a farmer wife’s garden.  It has been neglected for years, no longer lovingly tended.  Last year it produced of itself nettles and curling weeds that stood strong and tall all summer.   I did not have the courage to invade their territory.  Thankfully the winter defeated them and the shoots withered.

I planned this year to get out early and cut back any new growth.  My son strimmed that area a few weeks ago.  The grass, nettles and weeds made a come back.  Today I determined to go to war against the weeds.  I was not put off by the cool wind.  These weeds will sprout overnight!  I used my lawn mower as my weapon of war.  I powered my way over the rough ground and all before the mower was mulched.  I subdued my land!

I will plant potatoes that will flourish in the fertile soil.  It has been left fallow for years.  Wherever nettles grow, one can be sure the soil is good.  No back breaking work for me digging up the soil.  No, I will drop each potato in a small overturned sod and let nature take its course.  I have the added benefit of having a ready supply of fertiliser for my garden.  I live beside the sea.  I have gathered seaweed that was washed up from storms in the winter time.

I will be sure of having a harvest of potatoes and tomatoes at least in the autumn and all without much effort. The garden will once more be lovingly tended and enjoyed for the food it will produce.  I will wait to see what other seedlings the local shop will offer for my garden.  For now the potatoes are busy sending out roots unseen underground.  The tomato plants are enjoying my green house.

It is amazing that each spring the plants begin to emerge out of the soil.  Isaiah 61 v 11 explains,
“The soil makes the young plant come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
Abundant life comes forth!  I rejoice to see what the scriptures describe, happen before my eyes in my garden.  I will praise Him.